The Method To His Madness Essay Research

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The Method To His Madness Essay, Research Paper The Method to His Madness Throughout time, many pieces of literature have been written, along with even more pieces of criticism. Some of the analysis of the plays and stories try to explain why the stories are good or not. The play Hamlet written by William Shakespeare has many essays of criticism about it, where authors try to promote their viewpoint of the story. One such critic Sir Laurence Olivier said, Hamlet is pound for pound, in my opinion, the greatest play ever written. It towers above everything else in dramatic literature . . . Everytime you read a line it can be a new discovery (Olivier). I agree that Hamlet is a great play because the way Shakespeare uses the character Hamlet to show the complex workings of the

human mind. Through Hamlet’s struggle to revenge his father s death, Shakespeare attempts to explain the influence of one s mind on the decisions that one makes in life. This characteristic makes Hamlet one of the greatest plays. As the play unfolds, Shakespeare uses the problems that Hamlet must face to show the reader the effect of one’s perspective on the way the mind works. In his book Some Shakespeare Themes & An Approach to Hamlet, L.C. Knight mentions: What we have in Hamlet is the exploration and implicit criticism of a particular state of mind or consciousness. In Hamlet, Shakespeare uses a series of encounters to reveal the complex state of the human mind, made up of reason, emotion, and attitude towards the self, to allow the reader to make a judgment or form

an opinion about fundamental aspects of human life. (192) Here we see that Knight believes that Shakespeare wrote the play for a purpose to show us the inner workings of the mind. Shakespeare sets the stage for Hamlet’s internal dilemma in Act 1, Scene 5 when the ghost of Hamlet’s father appears and calls upon Hamlet to “revenge his foul and most unnatural murder” (1.5.24). It is from this point forward that Hamlet must struggle with the dilemma of whether or not to kill Claudius, his uncle, and if so when to actually do it. As the play progresses, Hamlet does not seek his revenge when the opportunity presents itself. It is the reasoning that Hamlet uses to justify his delay that shows the reader the effect of Hamlet’s mental perspective on his situation. In order to

fully understand how Hamlet’s perspective plays an important role in this play, the reader must focus on why Hamlet procrastinates in taking revenge on Claudius. Mark W. Scott attempts to offer some possible explanations for Hamlet’s delay in his book, Shakespeare for Students: Critics who find the cause of Hamlet’s delay in his internal meditations typically view the prince as a man of great moral integrity who is forced to commit an act which goes against his deepest principles. On numerous occasions, the prince tries to make sense of his moral dilemma through personal meditations, which Shakespeare presents as soliloquies. Another perspective of Hamlet’s internal struggle suggests that the prince has become so disenchanted with life since his father’s death that he

has neither the desire nor the will to exact revenge. (74) Mr. Scott points out morality and disenchantment, which are solely based on an individual s own conscious, as two causes of Hamlet’s delay. Therefore, he offers support to the idea that Shakespeare is placing important emphasis on the role of individual perspective in this play. The importance of Mr. Scott’s comment on Hamlet’s use of personal meditations to “make sense of his moral dilemma” (74), also helps to support L.C. Knight’s contention that Shakespeare is using these dilemmas to illustrate the inner workings of the human mind. All the work and thinking put forth by Shakespeare add to the complexity and help to make this play great. In Hamlet, Shakespeare gives the reader an opportunity to evaluate the